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help with lighting question

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by sprink669, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. sprink669

    sprink669 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I am normally a irrigation contractor but recently I have had a customer ask for some lighting accents on their house. It is a 2 story house with a red brick front and white gyp-board combination. I am going to take pics tomorrow. I would like to know about wall washing using the Kichler lighting. Can someone point me in the right direction to the difference between the kichler 15361mst wall wash and the SKU #KI1383 and the SKU #KI4698

    It looks like the 14698's have more options?
    I would like to stick with the kichler's because it seems like they are a favorite among this group. I have read alot of past posts and I really like the feedback on the lighting! Thanks I will snap a pic tomorrow of the house.

  2. sprink669

    sprink669 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8



    I have had used unique well lights before on my personal house before but that was just to accent some trees. I really don't know if the well lights would give me the affect that I am looking for? There are people in the neighborhood some have well lights and some seem to have above ground lighting (wall washers). Thanks for the help!
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    I think that you will have a hard time washing the walls of this home. The brick is very dark and will absorb most of the light. You will need to use a fixture that will project the light up. I would suggest using bullet lights on the main section of the home and then use wash lights for the white area. To get more of a wash effect on the red brick, use a 35 watt MR16 lamp with a wide 60 degree beam and then use a linear lens. This will help defuse the light a little and avoid the "V" look. You might use a 15385 wash light for the white areas with a 20 watt T-3 lamp. This will cover a wide area and give a soft glow. For the entry, I would use bullet lights with 20 watt MR16s. I think maybe a 36 degree lamp to not only illuminate the columns but softly light the balcony as well. I would also look at using a small bullet lights with 10 watt lamps to accent the dormers on the house.

    I hope that this helps give you a little guidance and now you can take off and try some things.
  4. sprink669

    sprink669 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Thanks for the reply Paul!
    Using a different wattage of bulbs on different parts of the house won't create unbalance in lighting? Meaning one side is brighter than the other? Which bullet lights do you recommend? I have been looking at all of the Kichler brand but I don't want to limit myself or the customer to one particular brand. Once again I can't thank you guys enough for the help! I know that lighting a house is an art and if it is done wrong it can look pretty bad!
  5. bumper

    bumper LawnSite Member
    from So. Cal
    Posts: 187

    different wattages for different textures, colors etc. We lit a juniper the other night.....came out beautiful....they have similiar juniper the other corner of the house, both were bonsai for lack of a better term. We had to drop to a 10 watt bulb to get the same effect we got from the 20 watt on the first juniper. Both were FX MU with bafflle and recessor ring.

    And call Vista..excellent customer service and they will walk you through the process of which fixtures to use,,,same with FX
  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Dark colors absorb more light and light colors reflect the light, therefore you have to compensate by using brighter lamps on dark objects. Also, when designing a lighting system for a home, you want to use slightly brighter light at the entry because you want to attract people to that location (guide the eye toward the home entry). I tend to use the Kichler 15384 as my primary bullet light. I use the 15396, 15385 and 15361 for my wash lights. I rarely use the lamps that come with these fixtures and have to "down lamp" them.

    Then of course you have the landscape. It's hard to tell what is there from these few pics but you might start by back lighting the trees close to the road. Don't do what most landscapers do, put a light in front of everything and call it "landscape lighting". Move the fixtures around. Put some fixtures behind objects to create depth. Cross light some objects. You know what I mean. Be creative in your design.
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    sound advice by paul. Also dont forget the trees outin the yard. Perhaps some nice pathlights to make the entrance walkway more inviting and safe as well.

    Be sure to use louvers on lights near the entrance way too.

    A side profile from near the garage might help too.

    If this is out of your leauge or you have never done lighting subcontracting it out may yeild you more profits than doing it yourself. Never underestimate the potential of letting someone else do the job and still making a percentage.
  8. sprink669

    sprink669 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I hear what you are saying Bill I e-mailed Paul about designing a system for this house. I would be willing to pay a small fee or some free help. for someone to design a system for this house so it is not amateur night.
    I am just not too sure about using spot lights and wash lights and what watt bulbs. On my house I just have well lights and I am using a Unique multi-tap transformer. It is a real basic setup. Thanks
  9. jlouki01

    jlouki01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    Contact Jim at Cascade Lighting. He will help you with a design.
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I think you would benifit more by using a designer and installer. Distributors often suggest textbook type fixtures..

    There is alot more to lighting than what fixture goes where and what bulb to stick in. The proper balance of the load must be met. Proper voltage... proper wiring techniques ... proper splicing techniques and above all making the system safe.

    You could be opening a whole can of worms if you have never done this type of work and do it improperly. Im not saying your incapable to do it but be sure you go in with the knowledge. You may even find you enjoy it and wish to make it a nice sideline to your irrigation work.

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